A new initiative to showcase employment pathways in Horowhenua was launched today, with every Year 10 student in Horowhenua visiting two different employers to explore employment options in the district.
The Futures Day event was delivered by the new employment platform, Get-Go, in partnership with Horowhenua College, Manawatū College and Waiopehu College.
Get-Go and Horowhenua New Zealand Trust trustee Sarah Ryan said the event was created to give students the chance to apply their classroom learning in a real world environment.
"It's often hard for young people to see how what they've learnt at school can be applied to jobs like operating GPS self-steering tractors, social media management, or logistics. By getting to visit these employers and see some of the diversity of the roles that are out there - we want to inspire young people to get excited about their future careers."
Six local businesses participated in the event and covered a variety of industries; Genoese Foods, Woodhaven Gardens, Techlam, Lewis Farms, Turks, and Speldhurst Country Estate.
Techlam managing director Brett Hamilton said the Get-Go Futures Day enabled Techlam to showcase the many employment opportunities our future workforce can have locally.
"We were able to show the students that our products are manufactured right here in Levin by locals, distributed across NZ and exported globally."
Managing director of Lewis Farms, Cam Lewis, said it's common for Horowhenua businesses to feel like they can't find the people they need for specialist roles.
"Sometimes there can be a perception that certain industries only require a certain set of skills - but we all need so much more than that. For us, we employ people with skills that range from agronomists, to robotics specialists and engineers.
"We believe that if we can show this to people before they leave school, then they will know that there are opportunities for them to stay and grow in Horowhenua."
Students were guided through three 'adventures' at each employer to show them how their learning can be applied across different industries and roles, something that Waiopehu College student Stevie Sayer-White said opened her eyes.
"The day gave me such a wide view about what employment is available in Horowhenua, things I had never thought I could do here. The day was exciting and made me really think about how my school work is relevant to my future."
Ryan said this is just one of many initiatives that Get-Go intends to support.
"This is just a start for us. Ultimately, we want to deliver activities across all age groups, sectors and demographics. We have all the skills and talent we need right here in Horowhenua, and the job opportunities, so we're here to help people and employers make those connections."